Skipping the Long Wait-Line to Obtain U.S. Permanent Residency by Investment
In the United States, the EB5 program allows wealthy foreign national investors to obtain U.S. permanent residency to be able to live and work in the United States, indefinitely. After five years of permanent residency, the foreign national can apply for Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship). The term EB5 means, Employment Based Category 5, and is the bases for permanent residency by a personal investment of today either of $5000,000 USD or $1 million USD.
The foreign national investor files their petition and currently must wait at least one and a half years for the petition to be approved before they can apply for conditional permanent residency, which may take an addition several months. For Chinese investors, it is a longer process. The investors, and if applicable, their spouse and minor children may want to quickly enter the United States to live, work and if allowable, attend school, in a matter of months and not years. Can this be done? Yes!
To be able to enter the U.S. in a few months to own and direct a U.S. Business, then obtaining an E-2 Visa for quick entry is the answer. The Foreign National Investor wishing to immediately buy into, direct, and manage a new or existing business in U.S., the investor must obtain an E-2 visa. E-2 visas are Nonimmigrant Visas and not Green Cards, or Permanent Resident cards. No limitations on extensions of stay of the E-2 Visa. The spouse and minor unmarried children under 21 may enter and stay in the U.S. with an E visa if the foreign national investor maintains E status in U.S. Spouses can also apply for employment authorization.
There must be a treaty between the foreign national’s country of citizenship and U.S. before the alien may obtain the E visa. Please note the following link to the treaty countries: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/treaty.html
For an Existing business, a substantial irrevocably investment by the alien investor will occur when the alien investor has invested close to the value of the existing U.S. corporation.
The investment in the U.S. can’t be marginal.
The investor can show by a business plan revenues that will be generated by the U.S. based operation will be substantial to generate income and salary to the investor which would be beyond the normal living wage and the revenues high enough to pay for managers and staff employees.
CONVERTING AN E2 STATUS TO AN EB5 DIRECT STATUS
Once the investors is in E-2 status, possibly for a period of two to five years, the E-2 investor can prepare and file the EB5 petition for conditional permanent residency. Therefore, while the E-2 investor continues to operate the U.S. Business, the EB5 petition is filed and the U.S. immigration service will spend time adjudicating the petition. The EB5 petition must show an investment of USD $500,000 and can include the initial E-2 investment of USD $150,000 (as an examples) can be counted towards the EB5 USD $5000,000 investment requirement. The balance of Investment required for EB5 can be in the process of being invested and full time employees can be added.
The above E-2 and EB-5 process clearly and quickly satisfies the wishes of investors to enter the U.S. for the goal of U.S. permanent residency.
Editor: Edward C. Beshara
Attorney at Law / Managing Partner